Recipes and Stories

26 November 2014: Mastering Thanksgiving X—The Art of the Biscuit

November 26, 2014

Tags: Thanksgiving 2014, Thanksgiving Dinner, Biscuits, Dressing, Classic Southern Cooking

The secret to perfect biscuits is just like getting to Carnegie Hall: Practice, practice, practice, and making them for dressing is the perfect time to do it.
The other key ingredient in my family’s cornbread dressing is actually another kind of bread altogether: biscuits. They give the dressing body and help bind it together without having to add eggs, which can sometimes make dressing a bit heavy.

Unfortunately, few home cooks seem to make biscuits very often, which is too bad. Because once one gets the knack, they’re drop-dead easy, and serving forth a basket of delicate, piping hot biscuits never fails to impress company. They always think you’ve gone to a lot more trouble than you actually have. (more…)

21 November 2012: Mastering Thanksgiving VIII—Damon Lee Talks Turkey (and Dressing)

November 21, 2012

Tags: Thanksgiving Dinner, Roasting Turkey, Dressing, Sage and Onion Dressing, Bacon Dressing, Sausage Dressing, Counry Ham and Pecan Dressing

Roasting a Turkey perfectly is no harder than roasting a chicken--it just takes longer
It’s now time to talk about the Thanksgiving cook’s central job: the turkey and dressing. If you haven’t tried to roast a turkey in a year (or have never done it) the first thing to do is relax: a turkey roasts just like a chicken – it just takes longer. Allow plenty of time and remember that it doesn’t have to look like those magazine covers. (more…)

17 November 2012: Mastering Thankgiving Dinner IV--Cornbread and Dressing

November 17, 2012

Tags: Thanksgiving Dinner, Dressing, Cornbread Dressing, Cornbread

Cornbread the way God Meant it to be: made with no sugar and baked in a cast iron skillet.
Today’s post is late because it’s my birthday, and is about dressing and cornbread because—it’s my birthday, and for this one day I can be personal and frank.

Whoever figured out how to recycle stale bread by seasoning it with herbs and spices, moistening it with broth, and then shoving it into a roasting fowl so that it slowly baked, basting itself in the juices from the bird while it rotated on the spit, is one of those thousands of unsung culinary giants that has been lost to history. But that the idea survives to this day is a testament to its sheer genius, and it’s a shame that they never got due credit. (more…)